By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
During this time of year it is a common practice to try to be generous and kind to your fellow human beings, no matter your religious persuasion, or lack of same.
If nothing else, it is time to review the old year, be thankful for your blessings, set resolutions to change bad habits and look to the new year with hope. Many change their tunes during the holiday season and act like they really believe in the words, “Do unto others as they would do unto you.”
And then you run into a mob like Schultze Asset Management and you wonder how they can sleep at night.
If you’ve been in the consumer electronics industry for a while, you have seen the demise of some pretty big players. The classic has to be Crazy Eddie with stock fraud, theft, jail terms, escapes overseas, etc., etc., which is a story that could have become a saleable movie screenplay. There have been chains that closed like Nobody Beats the Wiz (which everyone eventually did), Tops Appliance, Silo, Lechmere, Good Guys, Highland Superstores, CompUSA, Trader Horn, Brick Church Appliance … you get the picture. At the end of a retailer’s run, it can get difficult but it doesn’t necessarily have to get ugly.
As parents often tell their offspring, in tough situations like these all you have left is your reputation. You can go out responsibly, with honor.
Or you could go out like George J. Schultze and the rest of his organization and attempt to shutter Tweeter in the dark of night.
Is it a despicable performance? Just read the many comments on our Talkback section whenever we post a story or blog about Tweeter’s final months. To those former Tweeter employees and consumers who have contributed to the TWICE Web site in moving this story forward, we thank you for your input and are honored that you trusted us to get the word out on what was really going on.
In covering this sad story TWICE has found out what “citizen journalism” is about for the first time. We have been able to check many of the unsolicited emails and Talkbacks to confirm that many of the rumors were facts. We thank you for that, but we are sorry this came under such dire circumstances.
Based on management’s performance over the past couple of years the “Tweeter” brand in this industry has become an epithet to many consumers and many industry veterans.
I should remind everyone that it wasn’t always so. Tweeter was founded by Sandy Bloomberg in the 1970s based on his passion for consumer electronics and thinking he could make a buck selling it. He did for many years. The decision to go public and to try to expand nationwide began its demise. But at its height Tweeter was a great training ground for many industry executives and was influential in developing new A/V merchandising techniques that benefited everyone.
While we mourn the passing of Tweeter, we hope that new technologies and the opportunities the CE industry can provide will attract more entrepreneurs to this industry. And we hope that those former Tweeter employees who have a love and passion for this business get back into the CE business and can grow and prosper.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.